Roadside memorial to crash victims removed - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Roadside memorial to crash victims removed

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Crosses on the side of the road before they were removed. Crosses on the side of the road before they were removed.
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MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

For more than 13 years, crosses marked where four young people died in a terrible car accident in Marshall County.

On Monday, state highway officials pulled up the crosses and the victims' family members are upset.

The woman who lives next to the memorial asked the state highway department to remove them. Ruth White said she's not trying to be mean, but she said she's gotten sick of seeing the crosses out there and felt the family had plenty of time to grieve.

"It's like a landmark to people. People will say, 'Turn on Union Grove to the right after you see these big crosses,'" said wreck victim's sister Gina Moses. "I mean, they've been there forever."

After 13 years, those crosses were taken up.

"The property owner wanted to continue to maintain the right of way area by mowing, and they asked us if we would basically follow the law by removing the encroachment," said Johnny Harris, Alabama Department of Transportation division engineer.

For the family of Jonah Ray who was killed in the wreck, the decision to remove them is heartbreaking.

"That memorial was for us, for my family," said Moses. "To me the crosses meant more than his grave site to me."

White declined an on camera interview, but said it was also painful to see the crosses because it reminded her of the victim in the other car who was a good friend of her family.

"That's something sacred," said Moses. "That's a cross."

One of the victims of the crash would be celebrating a birthday tomorrow. Moses said they plan to have a candlelight vigil at the site where the crosses used to be.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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  • Do you think the roadside memorial should have been removed?

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    Yes, it's the law
    43%
    52 votes
    No, an exception should have been made
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